WISH YOU WERE HERE
WISH YOU WERE HERE
Stick To Your Guns frontman Jesse Barnett has surprised many with the release of his newest atmospheric project, Wish You Were Here. Their debut LP, I’m Afraid Of Everything, was released late last month, and took nearly five years to create. While on the surface this may seem completely out of Barnett’s musical realm, it’s actually much closer to his roots than most would believe.
Growing up listening to musicians like James Taylor and Paul Simon, Wish You Were Here takes a nose dive into what originally influenced Barnett to create. “This is what I’ve been doing since I was a little kid. As far as the songwriting goes, Stick to Your Guns is a side project; because that world didn’t happen to me until I was 14.” Barnett continued, “Music like I’m playing now with Wish You Were Here has been my whole life.”
Written and recorded with the help of friend and producer, Derek Hoffman, in Montreal throughout 2016 and 2017, the album served as a source of solace for Barnett. As he struggled to find reserve in the loss of loved ones, strained family ties, existential loneliness, and a quickly deteriorating relationship with the music industry, Wish You Were Here was born. The album explores all these topics and more with airy guitars and stripped down vocals.
Inspired by the grime and grind of Montreal and its inhabitants, Barnett began to regain his love for music, the kind that isn’t necessarily marketed to a large audience, rather a means of escapism, and solitude. Listeners can feel that very sentiment throughout the record. It is an album fueled by love and loss, a genuine reflection of mining through fields of pain, and deciphering the process of healing. [Get Alternative]
Genre-bending solo artist Derek Ted released his latest EP, Better Spirit, in January 2019 on Pure Noise Records. Better Spirit melds traditional genres like folk and jazz with classic emo and shades of new-millennium pop, all filtered through the lens of modern production.
Better Spirit expertly blends both old-school and new-school sensibilities able to resonate not only across genres, but generations. “I wrote this record to pull myself out of my own darkness. It was a way to push through and find hope in a time when I felt like I had none” shares Ted. “I wanted this record to be the beginning of a new path for my songs…to let them live aesthetically in a place where they could be their biggest and shiniest form.”
While the underground influences that moulded Ted as a young songwriter are still tightly embedded in his DNA — namely, his ability to craft a heartbreaking, soul-searching lyric — Better Spirit, his debut album for Pure Noise Records, is closely aligned with his more timeless muses. He’s light years away from the screamo bands he used to front as a teenager, but his songs are no less emotionally resonant.